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In this week’s New Statesman: Why Libya? Why now?

Mehdi Hasan: the limits of intervention | Robert Skidelsky: the dangers of Ricardian-Osbornism | Joh

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In this week's New Statesman, we look at the costs and risks of the Libyan intervention. In our cover story, Mehdi Hasan asks if there is a contradiction in ordering air strikes on Libya while ignoring conflicts elsewhere, Olivier Roy says that Nicolas Sarkozy's bellicosity masks his lack of substance, Jonathan Derbyshire profiles Samantha Power, Barack Obama's "Valkyrie", and Jason Cowley looks at how J S Mill's writings can illuminate foreign policy.

Also this week, Robert Skidelsky looks at how the ideas of two dead economists, David Ricardo and J M Keynes, are shaping the cuts debate, Gavin Kelly asks how the coming tussle over tax cuts will play out, and David Blanchflower says that growth will continue to disappoint and Osborne's Budget will be a failure.

All this, plus Alice Miles on the distasteful trend of disaster tourism, John Gray on resource wars and Chris Mullin on lost prime ministers.